Blockbuster loss exceeds $100 million in Q3

Firm blames much of financial hit on write-offs of debt financing

Blockbuster, in a life and death struggle to withstand withering competition from Netflix and Redbox, reported a quarterly loss of $117 million on Thursday, five times bigger than its loss in the year-ago period.

The company said the loss was the result of one-time costs related to debt refinancing, severance packages and store closures. Blockbuster shuttered 216 stores through the third quarter and said it will close up to 115 more in the current period.

Chairman and CEO Jim Keyes, though, said that despite Blockbuster's initiatives to engage Redbox and Netflix head on, the basic business of renting and selling movie-related products at stores isn't going away any time soon.

Without the big charges, Blockbuster had an adjusted loss of $38.3 million, up from an adjusted loss of $17.8 million last year. Revenue plunged 21% to $911 million.

Blockbuster said it expects to have 2,500 Blockbuster Express kiosks deployed by year's end. And Blockbuster On Demand, the Internet movie service, rolled out recently within Samsung and TiVo devices, Keyes noted.

When Blockbuster reported earnings for the second quarter in August, its stock tumbled 16% to 72 cents the next day. The stock had clawed its way back to 83 cents on Thursday -- until after-hours action knocked it back to 72 cents again, negating three months of hard-fought gains.
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